One way reliability is measured is by capacity factor, which is the amount of electricity actually produced compared with how much electricity would be produced if the plant operated at full capacity, 100 percent of the time.
In 2012, Braidwood ’s combined capacity factor was 91.1 percent, which is higher than other electricity sources’ average capacity factors.
Keeping the plant modern ensures reliable plant operations. Braidwood spends millions of dollars each year on capital projects to improve and modernize equipment and enhance plant operations and safety.
Uranium is Abundant
Nuclear energy uses uranium as its fuel, which is abundant and is of relatively low cost. It is also efficient. It does not take much uranium to power a plant from a volume standpoint. One uranium fuel pellet – about the size of the tip of an adult’s little finger – produces the same amount of energy as 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, one ton of coal and three barrels of oil.